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Validation and forecasting accuracy in models of climate change

Fildes, Robert and Kourentzes, Nikolaos (2011) Validation and forecasting accuracy in models of climate change. International Journal of Forecasting, 27 (4). pp. 968-995.

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    Abstract

    Forecasting researchers, with few exceptions, have ignored the current major forecasting controversy: global warming and the role of climate modelling in resolving this challenging topic. In this paper, we take a forecaster’s perspective in reviewing established principles for validating the atmospheric-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs) used in most climateforecasting, and in particular by the Intergovernmental Panel on ClimateChange (IPCC). Such models should reproduce the behaviours characterising key model outputs, such as global and regional temperature changes. We develop various time series models and compare them with forecasts based on one well-established AOGCM from the UK Hadley Centre. Time series models perform strongly, and structural deficiencies in the AOGCM forecasts are identified using encompassing tests. Regional forecasts from various GCMs had even more deficiencies. We conclude that combining standard time series methods with the structure of AOGCMs may result in a higher forecastingaccuracy. The methodology described here has implications for improving AOGCMs and for the effectiveness of environmental control policies which are focussed on carbon dioxide emissions alone. Critically, the forecast accuracy in decadal prediction has important consequences for environmental planning, so its improvement through this multiple modelling approach should be a priority.

    Item Type: Article
    Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Forecasting
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Validation ; Long range forecasting ; Simulation models ; Global circulation models ; Neural networks ; Environmental modelling ; DePreSys ; Encompassing ; Decadal prediction
    Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
    Departments: Lancaster University Management School > Management Science
    ID Code: 45811
    Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
    Deposited On: 11 Jul 2011 19:38
    Refereed?: Yes
    Published?: Published
    Last Modified: 05 Feb 2014 14:15
    Identification Number:
    URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/45811

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